Hiking – 20% BW and short vs. 5% BW and long

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  • #68136
    Eric im Bayern

    I was looking over my training log, I realized that it’s possible to have the same TSS for a 20% BW hike for 2 hours and a 3.5-4 hour hike with 5% BW. I was wondering what makes these two hikes different training-wise? Or will their training effect be similar? Also are there any downsides to doing longer duration with less weight versus shorter duration? I’m asking in part, because it’s easier to find friends to do a half day hike instead of a short, heavy pack carry. Thanks.

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    krish on #68137

    This article talks about this well: https://uphillathlete.com/trainingpeaks-metrics-ctl-tss/

    Basically, there’s some fudge factors you can apply (ie, additional TSS) to account for elevation gain and % BW to account for the mountain specific differences.

    EDIT: I re-read your post and think I answered the wrong question. If so, sorry. 🙂

    lapotka on #68143

    The hrTSS score is calculated solely off your heart rate and duration of the activity, my guess is that your HR is a lot lower on those long hikes. there are other training stimuluses that are important relating to core strength carrying weight and uphill hiking specific muscles and such.

    I’ve had some good luck handicapping myself with a pack and going for long hikes with less fit friends, keeping my HR where I want it, hiking at the slower pace and adding weight so it’s difficult enough to get the right HR. I fill water bottles up and hike with my wife or kids a lot and if I’m struggling to keep my HR down while hiking at her pace I just dump some water.

    Mariner_9 on #68146

    “Also are there any downsides to doing longer duration with less weight versus shorter duration?”

    Specificity? I would guess a heavier pack will affect how you move, and if you plan to carry a heavier pack for your goal event then some portion of your training should mimic that demand.

    MarkPostle on #68153

    If the goal is purely aerobic capacity building then you’re likely going to be better off with longer duration and lighter pack weight. As mentioned above much of it comes down to specificity for your goal. If your goal never exceeds a 5% pack weight then for sure that will be the better choice most of the time (ME workouts not withstanding) If you goal has an approach day(s) that involves significant pack weight then you’ll want to try and replicate that in the training some of the days. The reality is that a lot of mountain goals require both a big aerobic capacity (summit days) and a heavy pack carrying ability (approach to camp) so you’ll want to be training both.

    Eric im Bayern on #68162

    Thank you everyone for the helpful replies.

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